Goodbye’s the Saddest Word

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One month ago today was one of the saddest, hardest days of my life.

One month ago today, I wrapped you in a towel, placed you in the car, and pulled out of the driveway to start the drive to the vet’s office. Each moment the wheels turned us closer and closer to our destination, my heart broke a little bit more, crying out, “No….” And yet I knew it was the right thing, you were suffering so much and that was the biggest heartbreak of all.

We walked inside, and I shakily signed your name on the sheet, so painfully aware it would be the last time I’d ever do that. As we waited, I stood and rocked you, still wrapped in your blanket. You weren’t anxious as you normally are, just very quiet and calm. As another person entered the front door with their dog, you turned to look and see behind my back, setting your little head on my shoulder, as you did so often.

They called your name, and we went into the green room with the fluorescent lights and no windows. The tech had forms for me to sign, and it has never been so hard for me to write my signature.

Our vet came in, and explained how quickly the injection would work, so she let us have some last moments alone together. I didn’t have much to say to you that I hadn’t already in the past many days, so I just held you close, whispering, “I love you” and “good girl” as silent tears rolled down my cheeks.

The the doctor came back, and asked, “Are you ready?” I nodded, for I couldn’t speak the words. In the next minute, I held you wrapped up as you slowly closed your eyes and lowered your head very peacefully, as if drifting off into a sweet dream.

After several moments, the doctor checked your heartbeat and then asked if I was ready. I passed you into her gentle arms. I reached out one last time to touch you. You were warm, but you were gone. The vet looked into my eyes and with so much kindness said, “I’m so sorry.”

Saying goodbye to you was harder than I’d ever imagined it would be. The end came for you so suddenly, and I felt robbed of the few years I’d assumed we’d still have left with you.

I feel your absence acutely. How could I not, when you were always at my feet, laying by my side or in my lap any time I sat down. For the last 11 years, save my eight months in Hungary, you have always been with me. You were a rock in my life and you brought me joy incomparable. You were my family, and one of my very dearest friends.

It still hurts to have you missing from my life and I think of you so often. Forever and always, I will hold you safe in my heart, my dearest darling Annabelle.

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